Day 21 – Extra-Ordinary Beauty of Asperger’s

Today I’m sharing with you something my oldest niece posted on her Facebook. She is an amazing young woman who was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of 19. For many years she was misdiagnosed because the medical community thought it was most common in boys. I asked her permission to share this because I think this touches all of us and because I think she is a beautiful soul who would love to be labeled “ordinary”. It’s really about adolescence but maybe adolescence x 10. I also want to share a bit of family bragging, she has taught herself to sew and makes fantastic costumes for the ComiCons she enjoys. Breanne is 23 and works with animals, who she prefers to people 😉

Breanne bird

LONG POST, many tears, not tagging anyone (too many people to tag!) but you all who can see this means you mean a lot to me.

Dear ten year old me.

Life sucks so hard right now but don’t worry. 4th grade is almost over and soon you’ll be moving to VA. You just went through the single worst year of your life. Bullies are the literal worst. You learn to hate yourself. You learn to self harm. You want to die everyday and think about how painful it is just to get up and go to school but IT’S SO CLOSE TO ENDING HANG ON. Please, listen to your parents who love you and care so deeply for you. They are your biggest supporters right now.

You move to VA. Life looks good again. You struggle with depression still, that will never go away. You have those times of self harm still. But this time, this time you have friends. You make friends and learn about anime and your life forever changes at 13.

You move to MD, Freshmen year and you once again struggle. You make friends but still get picked on. You’re a strange you and no one will get you, but that’s all okay. That’s just how God made you.

Sophomore year you start Public school and forever are once again changed. You make bad friend choices. Choose to hang out with someone who hates on your religion to a bullying point of them making you cry and hate yourself all over. You get made fun of and bullied everyday for being a Christian. You cry everyday you go home and self harm becomes a part of your life all over. Don’t worry, you break this friendship, the bullies leave you alone and apologize all in your Senior year and make better friends.

A collage of her cosplays
A collage of her cosplays
Family selfie from the bathroom in Harrod's London
Family selfie from the bathroom in Harrod’s London
As a baby in 1992 with our two kids, her much older cousins.
As a baby in 1992 with our two kids, her much older cousins.

You move to FL and start Community College and flunk so hard.

This is the year your life changes once again. Flunking was part of the master plan and its okay don’t stress it. You fall into a long spell of depression and once again feel like you shouldn’t live. This time you’ll do something and check into a hospital. It is the worst week. You get little help, your doctor has no clue how to help and is no help at all. You hate every second of this. BUT. This is the moment, the moment feet are slammed down and questions finally asked. This is when all these depression spells, self harm, hating living, this is where it all finally gets an answer.

You’re 19 and you finally know why you are so different from everyone, why it’s hard for you to relate to others. You’re someone with Asperger’s and everything finally makes sense. It finally answers all those questions and you understand just a little more.

You start Learning Academy and once again make a poor friend choice but also one that will last the years. You make friends who also are on the spectrum, you meet people who finally can understand you better than any neuro-typical (one with not mental handicap or mental disability) ever could. This is the year life starts looking up.

You join the FL con scene and make friends. You make more lasting friends and get on cast for dorky con shows that make you feel amazing and are just what you need even though you think they aren’t.

So hang in there 10 year old me. Life sucks, it’s horrible, it’s the single worst moments right now. You will never forget the pain you felt, you never should. But in the coming years you learn how loved you are. How much people care for you. Keep hanging in because you bring people together. Hold on to the last moments of that year. Hold on because it’s almost over and your year ends with Loll and Stitch. It ends with a movie that shows just how you felt, how bullied you were, how alone you were but how family is everything and you’ll have the best friends coming along to save you.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

9 thoughts on “Day 21 – Extra-Ordinary Beauty of Asperger’s

  1. Bree Durham

    Thanks, Debby for this post. It was helpful to me & I don’t have any form of mental or phycological disorder. People can be cruel, inside & outside your own family. I have always been told or made to feel like I’m different in a negative way. Bullying can come in many forms. Until last year I was on the board of directors for a non-profit group that’s mission was to teach children, mostly, and adults about bullying. I am different from many. I’m glad I’m different from the folks who say & treat me in cruel & disrespectful ways. I would never want to be like them. Thanks again for all the work you do to lift up people’s life difficulties, and your own.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      When did different become bad, aunt Bree? That’s what it seems so often. I find myself explain, it’s different, not bad. Breanne is Paul’s oldest daughter. It’s been such a huge challenge for their family, in particular, to see a child you feel like you can’t reach at times. I’m thankful at the time this came to a critical point, we were in the same state to offer our presence.

      Reply

  2. Melody Riefer

    What a sweet and insightful post. Breanne is awesome in her willingness to share herself and her experience with the world. Having a loving family is what will make the biggest difference. And I love that she has found a skillful and creative outlet. Cheers, Breanne!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      She is insightful and articulate, Melody. We don’t always understand her FB posts about cosplay and all of that 😉 but we love her for her! She’s becoming quite the seamstress too!

      Reply

  3. Annie Rim

    This is such a brave post! Thank you, Breanne for courageously sharing your story!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      She is a brave girl, Annie. Trying at times 😉 but so brave and talented.

      Reply

  4. Gabriele

    What a vulnerable, strong post. I so admire her insights and the idea that she would like to help the 4th grader inside her. Thank her for her bravery, please.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I thought there was such tenderness in what she wrote and loved that she’s able to see so much from her vantage point of today. I will pass on everyone’s encouragement Gabriele.

      Reply

  5. What kind of month has it been? « Ten Thousand Places

    […] something which you know is dear to my heart. And it was also through the launch team that I found this beautiful, moving letter from a 19 year old girl with Asperger’s to her ten year old self. (The rest of Debby’s […]

    Reply

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